STL Shirt Co. is one of the top t-shirt printing companies serving individuals, families, and organizations in the Warren, MI area. People in Warren, MI and all across the country trust us for their complete screen printing and embroidery needs, as they have for more than 45 years. We have the Warren, MI t-shirt printing abilities and customer service that will make every screen printing order you place a wonderful experience. You may have more questions about what we can do for you, our methods, or how to place your order. Ask us questions or begin your order by reaching us at 636-926-2777 or sending us a message at 636-299-0162 today.
How it Works
Custom t-shirt printing orders can seem a bit mysterous. You put in your t-shirt printing order to your favorite screen printer and, a few days later, you have fresh-pressed, neatly boxed t-shirts on your doorstep or waiting for you at the shop. If you want to describe it as magic, we won’t object. For those who have never experienced the process, t-shirt printing is a mysterious endeavor. Many of our t-shirt printing customers come to us for special occasions and events, so we understand the excitement that surrounds these shirts. Have you ever wondered about the journey that plain cotton tee has gone through to become the beauty you see hanging in your closet or reflected in the mirror today?
The T-Shirt Printing Process
STEP ONE – Place your order.
You’ve determined you want to have some t-shirt printing done for your upcoming occassion, work group, sports team, or some other use. You contact your shop to place the order and the Warren, MI t-shirt printing process is set into motion. When you order your shirts, you will have to decide on the:
- What color, brand, style, and material the shirts will be
- Ink colors or special effects
- The design you want printed
If this already feels overwhelming, don’t fret! STL Shirt Co. will offer advice and help through the entire t-shirt printing process. Use our professional printers and designers. For assistance in creating the perfect logo or design work with our professional design team. If you want to know which shirt or colors will work best for your needs, we can help with that too.
STEP TWO – We create the screen
Once you decide on a design, we go about making the screen that allows us to print the design on your shirts. The design is first printed on a transparent sheet of film. Based on your desired end results, our t-shirt printing team will select the best mesh screen for your order. We then coat that screen with a photo-sensitive substance called emulsion. That film we printed your design on is placed on the screen and the screen is exposed to light. The design on the film blocks the light from reaching the coated screen in the shape of your design, and the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. This is how we create the stencil.
For designs with more than one color ink, we go through the same process for for each color in the design.
STEP THREE – We print.
Then, it is time to add the ink. Screen printing such as t-shirt printing usually uses a special ink called plastisol. Have you ever noticed how, on a printed shirt, you can feel the texture of the design, but it is still soft and flexible? What you are feeling is the plastisol ink. Plastisol is ideal for screen printing due to its ability to withstand p washes, move with the flexibility of the fabric, and display vibrantly on any color t-shirt.
The screens we made are attached to a printing press, and each shirt is placed on a plate below. We are very careful to line everything up precisely so that your design is oriented correctly on your t-shirt. We add ink on top of the screen and pull a squeegee across the entire screen to apply and press the ink onto the shirt. We repeat this for every single t-shirt in your order, and if your design has more than one color, we repeat it for each color on every shirt. There is an art to applying the ink just right so it looks bright and keeps the sharp lines in the original design. Lucky for you, our t-shirt printing team has mad skills.
STEP FOUR – The ink cures.
Now your awesome design is on your shirts! But there is still one more step. After the ink is applied, the ink has to cure. This means we have to turn the liquid ink into a solid so it stays on your t-shirts. To do this we introduce the ink to heat. It takes research and trial and error to perfect the curing process. It is easy to damage the shirt or the print if you use the wrong temperature or cure it for the wrong length of time. We know what we’re doing, though, so you know your prints will come out great.
STEP FIVE – You get your shirts!
After the ink is cured, it means that your t-shirts are officially printed! Next, we fold the shirts up neatly and pass them off to you. We can have your shirts or other items printed and packaged within just a handful of days. If you need it, ask us about shipping your order to you. For those last-minute situations when you need your t-shirts ready in a week or less, check out our rush printing services.